Things have been quite busy around here. Nicole and I have been having a great time exploring the area. We've been for a few bike rides together up near Williamsburg. Nicole has been getting the hang of it very quickly and is going to be riding with all the other she-beasts in the pro womens circuit very soon.
In addition we also went to the air show. We saw, amongst other things, a B-2 stealth bomber. It was incredible how quiet it was when it was flying towards us; the car engine was louder than the plane. When it was past us it was extremely loud. The F-22's are the same way. I guess it's only important to be quiet when before you destroy your target. We also saw this C-130--I have never seen a plane so big in my life.
But our best trip, which has lots of photos with it, was our long week end we took to the Outer Banks. This was particularly fun because we didn't have any particular plans or reservations--we just decided to drive there and decide what we wanted to do when we got there.
The drive was only about two hours. Because we love all things Richard Gere, we decided to stay the first night in Rodanthe. Here's a picture of our campsite:
I'm standing on the dune to take this picture. 200 feet behind me is the Atlantic Ocean. Because it is early in the season, we had the beach almost to ourselves. I decided to go surfing, so we rented a surf board from a shop across the street from our camp site. Because it was only my second time, I got a 9 footer. The water was really warm and on Friday night, the waves were just my size...not too big and not too small. I've now officially surfed in the Atlantic and the Pacific.
On Friday night, we sat out and watched the crabs come out. As the tide comes in, they start coming out and looking for food. We discovered that crabs do not eat chips. This little guy below came out of his hole, and while he was out, the water caved it in. So we chased him around the beach for a while.
After that, we got a little dinner and then came back and watched the moon rise. It came out big and full on Fri. Then we got to be out for the sun coming up on Saturday morning.
On Saturday, I went surfing some more and Nicole read A Tale of Two Cities until we were both completely exhausted.
On Saturday, while Nicole was walking to the bathrooms at our campsite, she came across a turtle that was along ways away from the beach. When we looked at him, he looked all dried and leathery, but he was definitely still alive because he had crawled all the way there. We decided that since he was a sea turtle, he would be happier in the sea. So I tried to pick him up so we could carry him the 400 ft or so back to the water. It turns out we made three bad assumptions:
- It was not a sea turtle
- It did not like the sea
- It did not like to be picked up
In fact, it was a snapping turtle, and as if the hissing noise he was making as I started touching him wasn't enough, when he snapped, he really go my attention. Even though most people describe me as 'a nice guy and also very nimble,' he almost took my finger clean off. When we came out of the bathroom, he had made it somewhere off into the brush--probably to be eaten by something bigger.
Then we packed up our campsite and headed out. First we drove south along the beach to Cape Hatteras to the light house. Cape Hatteras is the largest lighthouse in the world at 207 feet tall.
At that point we did do a little back tracking and decided to head back up the shore to the Nags Head area. We ended up staying in a little motel off the beach in a town called Kill Devil Hills. We spent a little more time at the beach on Saturday, but we decided against swimming, because even though it was 10 degrees warmer, the water was much colder. For fun, we went and got some good ice cream. They had Key Lime Pie flavor that was incredible. Nicole really liked the Pineapple Upside Down Cake flavor. Then we went and got some really good seafood at a little grill. To finish the night off right, we went and played mini-golf.
Sunday morning was great. We had a lazy Mother's Day morning with some breakfast on the beach. We saw pelicans diving for fish and even some dolphins swimming just a little ways out.
After breakfast, we went for a walk and found a starfish.
When we found the starfish we decided that, unlike our turtle friend, he would probably really prefer to be in the water. We couldn't actually tell if he was alive or dead, or even if it was a 'he' for that matter. So we picked up the starfish and threw it back into the water. The starfish then climbed on the back of dolphin and stuck one of his little arms out of the water and waved at us while a rainbow appeared, so I know we did a good thing.
Feeling good about ourselves, we went to church in Nag's Head and then went home. It was a great weekend.